Response to Ministerial Statement on January return

Responding to the Ministerial Statement by John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister to the Scottish Parliament, Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:

“Today’s announcement affirms the importance of students having access to in-person learning and support next term. We believe this is important for students’ learning, welfare and retention.

“The requirement for a staggered return will require urgent adaptations to timetables and teaching resources to give students the learning experience they deserve. We need urgently to see detailed guidance from Scottish Government to give substance to today’s high-level announcement.

“A staggered return and a Government policy that discourages students from returning to their accommodation at the beginning of term raises many questions in relation to students’ accommodation contracts, with potentially major cost implications at a time when institutions are under very serious financial pressure. We look forward to urgent discussion of this with the Scottish Government in the interests of supporting students, supporting institutions and making the guidance operationally effective.”